The “Thematic” Exercise!

(Again, there is no reason to read this unless you are interested in the terrible thoughts of a madman. Which you should be!)
THEME: Fun with theme(s)! Write out some exploration on the topic of your theme of the importance of imagination (and animals!) and the value found in everything. “Successful” themes enjoy a light hand, non-preachy.
Imagination: Imagination is the basic channel that all information in a particular individual(/reality?) flows. It is the essence of a person, creating characters that they portray to the world, even as they also guard their inner “self” with ferocity. Imagination powers these things, the “show of person” (< “personality” – Latin for [loosely] “Hey, you, with the mask on!”), as well as the fear that the inner self is too fragile to stand on its own.
Imagination is a force, too, it carries a lot of weight. It can grow fear and spread strength. It feeds every idea that the brain AND the body has, it empowers, and it allows for “new” material made of stuff previously processed from actual sensory data. Earlier I tried to do a complicated math problem (36 x 36…;) in my head and I got pretty far, but I couldn’t focus on it long enough and I forgot what the grouping of numbers were. Granted, I only spent a few seconds on this, but it does prove that it can be done and I bet there are people who are good at doing that.
It is a problem-solving device, it allows for past, present, and future speculation, the very nature of the brain’s incorporeal ability to exist in all dimensions of time, place, and/or space. Learning to use one’s imagination can be a great asset, if not vital, in a growing world of excessive everything, especially competition. With encouragement, it grows other areas of the brain, can stifling imagination actually lead to mental atrophy and/or death? That last one may be a little extreme, but is it possible?
Is imagination linked to development? It’s prominent in all areas of thought and action, even the ones you aren’t aware of. When you decide to move your arm, your brain goes through the whole process of the action you want to perform, start to finish, in an astonishingly quick mental prediction. This process has to be driven by imagination, even if at its basest sense, since the brain is predicting all kinds of things relevant to spatial relationships and interactions. When you actually perform the action and your movements don’t synch up with what your brain has predicted, you stumble, or flail, or become upset for no reason because something’s wrong.
That’s way off the point, but it does bear mentioning that there’s no escaping this sort of thing. Imagination is a storyteller and it monologues the entirety of our lives, the good, the bad, the unpredictable, the unseen (even to ourselves), the fantastic, and all our hidden desires that we want to be real, but aren’t for some reason.
The importance of imagination almost can’t be quantified since it requires an exceptional amount of imagination to think of all the ways that it can help. But, what is imagination, really? And to a child? It’s a source of entertainment other than TV, and free, at that. It’s a device of explanation and it works continuously, consciously and otherwise. It creates fears, loves, pains, anticipations, excitements, disgusts, and dreads. If it isn’t directly linked to emotion completely, does it have some bearing on that whole “process?” It can certainly put one into a state of emotion and putting ourselves in another’s shoes is about the only way we have to identify with one another. This is something we do instinctively now, I bet it was always that way, and I bet it’s true for some, if not all animals.
Science will make the distinction that “mammals and birds” play, and “play as an activity” is proof of imagination. It sure is! Is it the only one? No, I’d warrant that any animal that knows to flee danger has probably used imagination sometime in its development. When animals DON’T do this, they die out, like the Kakapo, an endangered flightless parrot. It isn’t just encroachment of the human species into its land, it is that it doesn’t have any idea what predators are or danger is. So, it just haplessly walks, out of curiosity, into potential threats. Fantastic. This is the lesson to remind kids why imagination is needed? Either way, the Kakapo is a bird, so according to “studies” it should be able to not die by thinking of bad stuff. Or maybe it is really true that it just doesn’t know how to have bad thoughts.
If that’s the actual case, then it’s an uninspiring metaphor for some parts of the world. There are bright spots are there, though!
Ok, so clearly I can’t write about “focusing on a subject!” … Imagination is the first friend a kid will ever have and it will help define all of their future friendships. It will even grant a voice to some dogs and a cat.
Everyone has value! This is the hard lesson to teach, because I don’t quite feel this way about myself yet or others. This has to be something I should write when I do feel uplifted. The important thing to note is that helping others and working together, even in little bits, will bring people closer together. It’s easy to see the worth of someone we’re close to, so I guess the answer is to get close to everybody.
There’s always going to be exceptions, but even those people will have value to others of that same “type.” One of Aesop’s fables held the moral that “Equals make the best friends.” This meant, in the old, ancient context, class, caste, and rank. In today’s still socially divided, uh, society, this idea can be retooled to mean that people who are treated equally [in a relationship of any kind] make the best friends.
Overcoming a common problem in/with a group is the theme behind those weekend “team building” exercises that some companies try. I would imagine it’s hard to get everyone to participate equally, or to feel the same way. Does it really work, then? Maybe, the naysayers get together and bond and the yay-sayers do the right thing together and feel morally superior together. It works on some level. It could be that the size of the group is too large in this context, but this problem and idea is irrelevant to me, since I’ll only be talking to one child at a time.
Ah, this is a harder concept to define because I only have ideas here. I haven’t wantonly gotten close with everyone, not even marginally. I also don’t behave as if I believe this particular phrase and so I have to admit that I don’t… fully. I’m trying. It’s not that it’s a race or culture thing, I’m mostly biased against people who don’t know how to communicate. I don’t have any idea how that is done physically, so I mirror the poor bastard who needs my attention and if the quality is poor, then I stomp all over him in the most unassuming, yet posturific (< also involving actual posture!) way. That’s something I have to work on, too.
Everyone has a story. And everyone has a better story underneath that story. And everyone’s story (and better story!) has a lesson to teach, too. It doesn’t matter who, where, or what, when, how, and especially why they have that story and lesson, since they do have it, they have the same value that your/my story has.
As a [expletive] writer, and someone of curiosity besides!, I feel as though it should be easy to ask and hear everyone’s story. Is this the way to teach the youth the value in everyone is through listening to their stories? Listening is also a skill I need. To. Develop!
Ok, I think I have enough to trim down into cohesive points and questions. Did I really just type that?

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